Saturday, February 06, 2010

Daily Express: Climate quibbles; rebuttals 51-100

On December 15th 2009 The Daily Express published a piece called "Climate Change is natural: 100 reasons why" (sic)

That night, the New Scientist published rebuttals to the first 50, then got bored, and stopped.

I have finally got around to answering the second 50 points.

As you will see, many of the points have no bearing at all on whether or not climate change has an anthropogenic component.

51) Wind farms are not an efficient way to produce energy. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) accepts a figure of 75 per cent back-up power is required.
The HVDC grid and storage systems will overcome this problem.

52) Global temperatures are below the low end of IPCC predictions not at “at the top end of IPCC estimates”
The predictions are pretty good.

53) Climate alarmists have raised the concern over acidification of the oceans but Tom Segalstad from Oslo University in Norway , and others, have noted that the composition of ocean water – including CO2, calcium, and water – can act as a buffering agent in the acidification of the oceans.
Buffering slows, but cannot negate, acidification

54) The UN’s IPCC computer models of human-caused global warming predict the emergence of a “hotspot” in the upper troposphere over the tropics. Former researcher in the Australian Department of Climate Change, David Evans, said there is no evidence of such a hotspot
David Evans is confused

55) The argument that climate change is a of result of global warming caused by human activity is the argument of flat Earthers.
Empty abuse.

56) The manner in which US President Barack Obama sidestepped Congress to order emission cuts shows how undemocratic and irrational the entire international decision-making process has become with regards to emission-target setting.
Extrapolation from one instance to the whole.

57) William Kininmonth, a former head of the National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological Organisation, wrote “the likely extent of global temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. Such warming is well within the envelope of variation experienced during the past 10,000 years and insignificant in the context of glacial cycles during the past million years, when Earth has been predominantly very cold and covered by extensive ice sheets.”
Kininmonth argues that H2O evaporation will cool, but forgets that condensation will cancel that effect.

58) Canada has shown the world targets derived from the existing Kyoto commitments were always unrealistic and did not work for the country.
Decarbonisation is going to be challenging for every country, not just Canada. Even cold countries are going to have to rely on renewables in the long term, when fossil and uranium resources are finished.

59) In the lead up to the Copenhagen summit, David Davis MP said of previous climate summits, at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Kyoto in 1997 that many had promised greater cuts, but “neither happened”, but we are continuing along the same lines.
Rome was not built in a day.

60) The UK ’s environmental policy has a long-term price tag of about £55 billion, before taking into account the impact on its economic growth. The UK put £200 billion in bailing out the bankers. Energy conservation and clean production is real investment, not covering mistakes made by incompetent fools.

61) The UN’s panel on climate change warned that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035. J. Graham Cogley a professor at Ontario Trent University, claims this inaccurate stating the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.
This was from a typo copied by incompetent bureaucrats.

62) Under existing Kyoto obligations the EU has attempted to claim success, while actually increasing emissions by 13 per cent, according to Lord Lawson. In addition the EU has pursued this scheme by purchasing “offsets” from countries such as China paying them billions of dollars to destroy atmospheric pollutants, such as CFC-23, which were manufactured purely in order to be destroyed.
The infant carbon offset scheme has been exploited by scammers. The system will become tighter in future.

63) It is claimed that the average global temperature was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times but sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years according to Penn State University researcher Michael Mann. There is no convincing empirical evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in average global temperature were unusual or unnatural.
The facts are otherwise.

64) Michael Mann of Penn State University has actually shown that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age did in fact exist, which contrasts with his earlier work which produced the “hockey stick graph” which showed a constant temperature over the past thousand years or so followed by a recent dramatic upturn.
Good science works by constantly taking on new data.

65) The globe’s current approach to climate change in which major industrialised countries agree to nonsensical targets for their CO2 emissions by a given date, as it has been under the Kyoto system, is very expensive.
Doing nothing is more expensive.

66) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures when looking at the history of the Earth’s temperature.
This refers to a standard adjustment to eliminate a known quirk of one kind of source data. The East Anglia data is reliable and reproducible.

67) Global temperatures have not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years and have actually been falling for nine years. The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed a scientific team had expressed dismay at the fact global warming was contrary to their predictions and admitted their inability to explain it was “a travesty”.
2009 was the second warmest year on record, and five of the warmest years have been in last ten years. The "travesty" referred to a lack of floating temperature recorders. The lack of rise since 2000 relates to a quiet sun.

68) The IPCC predicts that a warmer planet will lead to more extreme weather, including drought, flooding, storms, snow, and wildfires. But over the last century, during which the IPCC claims the world experienced more rapid warming than any time in the past two millennia, the world did not experience significantly greater trends in any of these extreme weather events. Weather - related damage is increasing over the past 40 years.

69) In explaining the average temperature standstill we are currently experiencing, the Met Office Hadley Centre ran a series of computer climate predictions and found in many of the computer runs there were decade-long standstills but none for 15 years – so it expects global warming to resume swiftly. As it probably will over the next five years, as sunspot activity picks up again.

70) Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the Earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. Such hysteria (over global warming) simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth.” Climate scientists do not have a notion of a static, unchanging climate. Popular climate change denial is driven by shock jocks and tabloid journalism.

71) Despite the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s status as the flagship of the fight against climate change it has been a failure. Decarbonisation is going to take time. The momentum will build.

72) The first phase of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which ran from 2005 to 2007 was a failure. Huge over-allocation of permits to pollute led to a collapse in the price of carbon from €33 to just €0.20 per tonne meaning the system did not reduce emissions at all.
The over-allocation was due to the undue demands of the corporations.

73) The EU trading scheme, to manage carbon emissions has completely failed and actually allows European businesses to duck out of making their emissions reductions at home by offsetting, which means paying for cuts to be made overseas instead.
The trading scheme is flawed and must be reformed.

74) To date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions.
The journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step.

75) In the United States , the cap-and-trade is an approach designed to control carbon emissions and will impose huge costs upon American citizens via a carbon tax on all goods and services produced in the United States. The average family of four can expect to pay an additional $1700, or £1,043, more each year. It is predicted that the United States will lose more than 2 million jobs as the result of cap-and-trade schemes.
Carbon prices will go up in the end with Peak Oil. Hundreds of thousands of jobs can result from energy conservation and low-carbon technology.

76) Dr Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has indicated that out of the 21 climate models tracked by the IPCC the differences in warming exhibited by those models is mostly the result of different strengths of positive cloud feedback – and that increasing CO2 is insufficient to explain global-average warming in the last 50 to 100 years.
Spencer is using a very simple model that does not reflect the complex reality of the atmosphere.

77) Why should politicians devote our scarce resources in a globally competitive world to a false and ill-defined problem, while ignoring the real problems the entire planet faces, such as: poverty, hunger, disease or terrorism.
This assumes what the Express is trying to prove. Unchecked GW will make the problems worse.

78) A proper analysis of ice core records from the past 650,000 years demonstrates that temperature increases have come before, and not resulted from, increases in CO2 by hundreds of years.
The Ice Age variations are started by solar change, but prolonged by the CO2 increases.

79) Since the cause of global warming is mostly natural, then there is in actual fact very little we can do about it. (We are still not able to control the sun).
There are six factors causing climate change, CO2 is a powerful component, and is the one we can change.

80) A substantial number of the panel of 2,500 climate scientists on the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change, which created a statement on scientific unanimity on climate change and man-made global warming, were found to have serious concerns.
Scientists will always have questions. There is neverthless a consensus.

81) The UK’s Met Office has been forced this year to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by revelations about the data. This is a reasonable response to the stolen emails.

82) Politicians and activists push for renewable energy sources such as wind turbines under the rhetoric of climate change, but it is essentially about money – under the system of Renewable Obligations. Much of the money is paid for by consumers in electricity bills. It amounts to £1 billion a year. Nuclear and coal have received vastly greater subsidies.

83) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.

84) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase science for political purposes. They thought the journal was publishing poor science.

85) Ice-core data clearly show that temperatures change centuries before concentrations of atmospheric CO2 change. Thus, there appears to be little evidence for insisting that changes in concentrations of CO2 are the cause of past temperature and climate change.
Repeat of 78. The only way to explain what is happening now is by man-made gases.

86) There are no experimentally verified processes explaining how CO2 concentrations can fall in a few centuries without falling temperatures – in fact it is changing temperatures which cause changes in CO2 concentrations, which is consistent with experiments that show CO2 is the atmospheric gas most readily absorbed by water.
CO2 varies both naturally and by man-made activities. We have increased concentrations by 37%

87) The Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy contains a massive increase in electricity generation by wind power costing around £4 billion a year over the next twenty years. The benefits will be only £4 to £5 billion overall (not per annum). So costs will outnumber benefits by a range of between eleven and seventeen times.
Wind energy myths are treated here. Costs are falling all the time.

88) Whilst CO2 levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout history, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years.
Good, if true.

89) It is a myth that CO2 is a pollutant, because nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere and human beings could not live in 100% nitrogen either: CO2 is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is and CO2 is essential to life.
This claim is based on confusion.

90) Politicians and climate activists make claims to rising sea levels but certain members in the IPCC chose an area to measure in Hong Kong that is subsiding. They used the record reading of 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level.
That would be a good reason to change the location of the measurement location.
The sea levels are certainly rising.

91) The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.
Global warming increase, thankfully, has reduced since 1988, due to strong La Nina event, and possibly a solar minimum. But it is still happening.

92) If one factors in non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements show little, if any, global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).

93) US President Barack Obama pledged to cut emissions by 2050 to equal those of 1910 when there were 92 million Americans. In 2050, there will be 420 million Americans, so Obama’s promise means that emissions per head will be approximately what they were in 1875. It simply will not happen.
A lot of technological improvement can happen over four decades, if the political will is there.

94) The European Union has already agreed to cut emissions by 20 percent to 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and is willing to increase the target to 30 percent. However, these are unachievable and the EU has already massively failed with its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), as EU emissions actually rose by 0.8 percent from 2005 to 2006 and are known to be well above the Kyoto goal.
See 93.

95) Australia has stated it wants to slash greenhouse emissions by up to 25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, but the pledges were so unpopular that the country’s Senate has voted against the carbon trading Bill, and the Opposition’s Party leader has now been ousted by a climate change sceptic.
Australia does politics.

96) Canada plans to reduce emissions by 20 percent compared with 2006 levels by 2020, representing approximately a 3 percent cut from 1990 levels but it simultaneously defends its Alberta tar sands emissions and its record as one of the world’s highest per-capita emissions setters.
Canada does politics too.

97) India plans to reduce the ratio of emissions to production by 20-25 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2020, but all Government officials insist that since India has to grow for its development and poverty alleviation, it has to emit, because the economy is driven by carbon.
India is in a good position to exploit solar technology

98) The Leipzig Declaration in 1996, was signed by 110 scientists who said: “We – along with many of our fellow citizens – are apprehensive about the climate treaty conference scheduled for Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997” and “based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions.”

From Desmogblog:

According to Sourcewatch, when a Danish journalist attempted to contact the 33 European scientists listed on the petition, 12 denied signing the petition and some had not even heard of the Leipzig Declaration. Of those that did admit to signing the letter, one was a doctor and another was an expert on flying insects. The declaration was then revised and many names were removed.

99) A US Oregon Petition Project stated “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of CO2, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
Oregon petition

100) A report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change concluded “We find no support for the IPCC’s claim that climate observations during the twentieth century are either unprecedented or provide evidence of an anthropogenic effect on climate.”
This NIPCC report was by Fred Singer, who has little or no credibility.

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